Firefox OS is a new smart phone platform for budget phones clearly designed for developing markets. The new ZTE Open is one of the first Firefox phones made by Chinese manufacturer. The new little 3G handset will be powered by the Qualcomm MSM7225A processor (properly less than 1 GHz) alongside 256MB RAM and just 512MB internal storage. It sports a 3.5-inch HVGA TFT display with capacitive touchscreen and connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Micro-USB. The phone will also come with FM radio and a 3.2-megapixel rear camera and an accelerometer as well as an ambient light sensor. It will carry a 1,200mAh battery. We’re not too sure whether it comes with a microSD card slot, but is almost certainly there given the paltry storage on the phone …
Based on the specs of the phone, it seems Mozilla, the company behind the famous Firefox web browser, is targeting the entry-level smartphone market to begin with, which means it is competition for Android, rather than iOS. It will be interesting to see how the OS performs on the cheap hardware and if it offers a compelling enough alternative to Google’s Android. The unique play of Firefox OS is that it enables every feature to be developed as if it were an HTML5 web app; essentially the whole device is based on the same technology as the web. Mozilla hopes that developers will be attracted by the ease of developing for the device. Firefox OS is a neat idea, but with so many cheap Android phones already on the market which mostly are made by Chinese manufactures, the likes of the ZTE Open may be just too late. In the meantime, we’re still not sure how cheap can the ZTE Open cost.
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